Methodological optimisation for detection of extended spectrum beta lactamase (ESBL) producing organisms for determining abundance and transfer potential.

Microbiological analysis of clinical samples for ESBL producing bacteria relies on culturing bacteria directly from stool samples on selective agar and this binary assessment is adequate for clinical purposes. Investigation of transmission of these pathogens, however requires a more robust approach in order to distinguish different pathovars without confounding experiments by promoting transfer of ESBL elements. 

Where does this project lie in the translational pathway?

Diagnostic development and modelling to inform environmental strategies to interrupt transmission.

Methodological aspects of the PhD project

Microbiology, molecular microbiology, bioinformatics

Expected outputs of the PhD project

Publications in translational research, influence clinical practice in LMICs.

External industry links or training opportunities available for the student 

Some research conducted at the Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust Clinical Research in Medecine Programme

Required skills/experience/aptitudes

Microbiology experience essential, knowledge of AMR and mobile genetic elements desirable. Imaginative and original ideas and an enthusiastic attitude towards problem solving

Key publications that relate to this proposed project


Extensive Within-Host Diversity in Fecally Carried Extended-Spectrum-Beta-Lactamase-Producing Escherichia coli Isolates: Implications for Transmission Analyses  (PMID: 25903575)


Comparison of antimicrobial resistance in generic Escherichia coil and Salmonella spp. cultured from identical fecal samples in finishing swine (PMID 18505208)


Episome-mediated transfer of drug resistance in Enterobacteriaceae. I. Transfer of resistance factors by conjugation (PMID: 13783344)


Estimating species richness  Nicholas J. Gotelli and Robert K. Colwell. Species diversity Chapter 4